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A cross between a shooter and an educational word game, Word Zapper for the Atari 2600 puts you at the helm of a rotary wing Word Zapper, a laser-shooting vehicle armed with vertical and horizontal firepower. When the game begins, you will see a word or a set of scrambled letters at the bottom of the screen. After quickly memorizing this word or letter sequence, you must then shoot at an alphabet or string of letters that will scroll by at the top of the screen. Your job is to shoot the letters in the order of the word or scrambled letters you have locked away in your memory.
As you maneuver the Zapper, shooting letters in the proper sequence, asteroids float by horizontally. You should shoot or avoid these asteroids to keep them from destroying your ship, bonking or zonking your ship to the side, or temporarily mixing up the scrolling letters. The game ends when you shoot down three words within 99 seconds, when you are struck by a Doomsday asteroid or when you run out of time.